On July 14, 2016, Representative Darryl Issa (R-Calif.) introduced H.R.5801, the “Protect and Grow American Jobs Act.” The bill is cosponsored by Representatives Peters, Polis, Vargas, Farenthold, Smith, Hunter, and Davis. The bill proposes to amend the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act (ACWIA) of 1998.
The ACWIA established certain enhanced Labor Condition Application requirements for “H-1B Dependent Employers,” as that term was defined in the law. These additional requirements include U.S. worker recruitment requirements and rules concerning the non-displacement of U.S. workers. The ACWIA also contained certain exemptions from the rules for H-1B Dependent Employers: an H-1B Dependent Employer is exempt from Additional Labor Condition Statements if the H-1B employee 1) earns an annual salary of more than $60,000, and 2) if the H-1B employee holds a master’s degree or greater.
H.R. 5801 amends the ACWIA’s exemptions for H-1B Dependent Employers. First, it raises the wage exemption from $60,000 to $100,000, and proposes further inflationary increases in the minimum every three years. Next, the bill proposes to repeal the master’s degree exemption for H-1B Dependent Employers.
We will continue to monitor developments and track the progress of this legislation.